Illinois sees historically dry September

Last month was one of the driest Septembers on record for Illinois. One Downstate city had the driest month ever in its recorded history.

According to the United States Drought Monitor, more than 92 percent of the state is experiencing what they call “abnormally dry weather” and another 12 percent is actually classified as a drought. At less than eight-tenths of an inch, State Climatologist Jim Angel says September was the fifth driest in recorded history.

Meteorologist Chris Geelhart with the National Weather Service in Lincoln says the central third of the state has seen the least rain.

“The worst area has been roughly along the Interstate 72 corridor,” he said. “From Quincy all the way over toward Champaign and Danville. It’s been averaging about 4-6 inches below normal for the last few months.”

Springfield is nearly as dry as it’s ever been since they began recording rainfall.

“Springfield only recorded one-hundredth of an inch of precipitation last month,” Geelhart said. “That’s not only the second dryest September but the second dryest of any month since records began back in 1879.”

Here in Rockford, only 0.51 inches of rain fell during September, far below the 10-year average of 2.89 inches for the month.

Forecasting ahead, Geelhart predicts that October is likely to be pretty dry as well.  Rockford is at least getting some reprieve from the dry weather with up to an inch-and-a-half of rain expected through Saturday.

Illinois News Network with Staff reports

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